Sold-Chapter 1- How the Winds are Laughing
By Marmalade Fever
Disclaimer: I do not own nor claim Harry Potter, the work of J.K. Rowling. No profit is being made. Song lyrics are from Donna Donna by Donovan.
A.N.: This is an AU sequel to Courting Miss Granger. Please read it in advance.
Draco Malfoy's lip curled as he surveyed the scene in front of him. It was absolutely disgusting, and thus wonderful. Hundreds of members of the Dark Arts community had gathered for the event. There were hags, Death-Eaters, you name it, they were there. His father had reserved him a place in the front row, from which to do his bidding. Excellent, he thought. This event had been in the back of the Dark Lord's mind for many years, and now that he was in power he could finally hold it. This was the great Mudblood Auction, and Draco knew exactly what, or more precisely who, he was going to bid on. Poor little Mudblood Granger had been caught five years ago, trying to rescue a family of muggles from persecution, and Draco had brought just enough galleons to buy her. Catching up with an old schoolmate, he called it. He laughed under his breath as he went to his seat, reclining leisurely in it.
The-Boy-Who-Lived had gone missing almost fifteen years ago, earning him the title of The-Boy-Who-Cowered. Dumbledore had... tragically... died during a siege of Hogwarts castle. Since that day the Dark Lord had successfully come to power. Muggles had almost completely been wiped out. Those remaining had not had their memories wiped, in the sniveling good side's attempt to keep them aware of the situation and hopefully out of harm's reach. Most members of the other side's alliance had gone into hiding. Draco didn't blame them. Just about any non-Dark Lord supporter was bound to be made an example of.
And as for the Mudbloods, well, here they were. Slavery had a nice ring to it.
A large Dark Mark formed in the sky, signaling the start of the auction. Draco sat in his chair like a wild cat about to spring onto its prey. Abner Ablestivner, one of the Dark Lord's school friends, stepped out onto the stage.
"Ladies and gentleman," he said slowly, peering at the audience filled with anything but ladies and gentleman, "I present to you, the first Mudblood up for sale. Bidding will start with no less than one-hundred galleons." He bowed and turned his head in the direction of a large cage that was pulled forward by two ugly mountain trolls. Draco smirked as a terrified looking Justin Finch-Fletchley was moved out of the shadows.
"One hundred!" an old crone cried. Draco noted that she was holding a book of illegal love potions… or was it a cook book?
"One-oh-vive!" a vampire with a thick Transylvanian accent screeched. The bidding ended at One hundred fifty galleons, sold to the old crone.
"Next specimen!" Abner cried, as the trolls pulled a second cage forward. A twelve year old girl peeked out through the bars, crying fitfully. She was sold to a man Draco knew to have children of his own. The girl was probably going to be forced to act as a playmate, which made her luckier than most. Draco began to grow bored as about fifty more of the filthy-blooded witches and wizards were sold. "Now, I give to you an especially feisty female," Abner announced, making Draco perk up. At long last the cage that held Hermione Granger was pulled forward, and there she was. Her bushy hair was matted and nearly dread-locked to her head. Her fingernails had reached an abnormally long length, almost starting to curl, and her frame was skeletal. She was completely filthy. She had to be in the worst condition of any being sold that day, yet her posture suggested otherwise. She stood, glaring, with her arms crossed, daring someone to even think of buying her.
"One hundred," Draco drawled, lifting his hand steadily into the air. Instantly her eyes slid onto him and grew round. Her eyes didn't leave him as others began to bid. She looked... haunted. She was actually beginning to scare him. "Five hundred thirty-eight!" Draco cried, not breaking eye contact.
Abner looked around before hitting his gavel against a large gong. "Sold!" He tossed Draco the key to Granger's cage. Draco pocketed it and exited to the area behind the stage.
"Grannnnnnger," Draco hissed, looking around for her cage. He found it and looked in on his newest acquisition. They stared in silence for a moment. "Mudblood," Draco said at last, nodding. She didn't say anything. "Speak when you're spoken to!" he hissed. Granger still didn't reply, but lifted her chin to reveal a large red mark that ran across her throat. Draco peered at it and began moving his hand forward when she bit down hard, drawing blood. His eyes grew large and he pulled his wand from his pocket. She immediately released, collapsing onto the ground, panting hard before fainting dead away. With his good hand, Draco snapped his fingers. Instantly his two man-servants appeared. "Take this," he gestured to the unconscious woman, "back to the manor. Also, call for Healer Quintepps."
"Is that Granger?" one of them asked, tilting his head stupidly.
"Yes Crabbe, you blundering idiot! Now go!" Draco wrapped his broken hand in a handkerchief before disapparating to his home.
On a wagon bound for market, there's a calf with a mournful eye
High above him, there's a swallow, winging swiftly through the sky
Hermione was vaguely aware of being transported via a humongous burning pit and some floo powder. She had, long ago, started to feel numb, physically, mentally, and emotionally. But there was still a lot of her old spark left, if only she had her strength and a good wand at her disposal. The fact that Voldemort had ordered all captured muggleborns to be sold at auction hadn't surprised her as much as she would have thought. It almost seemed the natural course of action for him. How she loathed that scum of a man… if you could even call him one. And now she had been "bought" by her child-hood nemesis. Well, if he wanted her, he could have her. Like anything he could put her through could be worse than the torture sessions she'd undergone in the Death Eaters' custody. Crabbe and Goyle left her in her cage in a large, dark room.
How the winds are laughing, they laugh with all their might!
Laugh and laugh the whole day through, and half the summer's night…
Her body ached. The gash beneath her chin had never had a chance to fully heal, and she had still been unable to speak, even after all of these months. What genius had thought to render her mute in order to get her to talk deserved a few good lessons on the laws of physics.
Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna
Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna
Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna
Donna, Donna, Donna, Don-na…
"She looks terrible," a man was saying. "I was there. You missed a very pretty little thing, went for four times higher! This though, what's so great about her?"
"Don't let her looks deceive you, underneath this miserable exterior is the most brilliant mind under the age of fifty. And besides… she and I have some… catching up to do."
"That smart, huh? I heard she's in league with the Boy. That true Draco?"
"In league with him? You must be joking me Quintepps! This is Hermione Granger. The Hermione Granger. As in his best mate, aside from Weasley."
"You're kidding me! That's her? I read her name on the most wanted list only three weeks ago. I'm surprised they even allowed her at the auction. Heck, I'm surprised she's alive at all."
"They knew I wanted her. Besides, she's useful yet. She may still hold the key to finding Potter… among other things."
"Yeek! You call him by his name?"
"He's not the Dark Lord, Winston. I did know him for several years. I had classes with him. You can't cower in fear of some one with taped up glasses, you know."
"Taped…" Quintepps laughed. "Taped up glasses? That's hilarious. Why have I never heard this before?"
"Well, to be fair, I only saw them taped on one occasion. After that he managed to learn occulus reparo."
"It's still rich!"
"Shh! I think she's waking up."
Stop complaining, said the farmer. Who told you a calf to be?
Why don't you have wings to fly with? Like the swallow so proud and free?
Draco watched as Granger's eyelids fluttered open, and there were those awful, accusing eyes again. "This, Mudblood, is Healer Quintepps. I suggest you don't bite him. He's here to help you. See, he already fixed up my hand." He waved the aforementioned body part in her face to show that she hadn't hurt him. "Now be a good little girl and let the Healer examine you. Goodness knows you need it."
Calves are easily bound and slaughtered, never knowing the reason why
But whoever treasures freedom, like the swallow has learned to fly
"And that should finish it," Quintepps said, stepping away from Hermione. "Try saying a few words."
"The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain," Hermione said, speaking for the first time in a very long time. It came out hoarse and still hurt her throat slightly, but she had managed to speak, and that was a good thing.
"Excellent!" Quintepps said, beaming. "I'm going to leave some lozenges with your master for you."
"How's it going?" Malfoy asked, joining them in the makeshift dungeon.
"Pretty well. She can speak again, and I cut down those nails of hers. Now just get her a bath and a few good meals and she'll be up for menial labor soon enough."
Malfoy smirked. "Well, I don't know about that, but at least I'll be able to stay in the same room with her without retching from the stench. Thank you Quintepps."
"No problem at all, Mister Malfoy. None at all." Malfoy smirked again as Quintepps stepped out of the room.
Once again the cold, haunted eyes of Hermione Granger landed on those of Draco Malfoy. She didn't say a single word. "I believe, Miss Granger, that it is high time you had a bath."
"Feed me, you scum, or your money will all have gone to waste," she spat out, surprising him. He smirked.
"Too true." He snapped his fingers and a house-elf appeared at his side. "Bring the woman something to eat, Kobby… now." About twenty seconds went by before the elf reappeared with a tray of grim looking food. Hermione wasn't fazed. She had been kept on the brink of starvation for far too long to be picky. She didn't even bother using the fork she had been given, picking up what looked like it might have been mashed cockroaches and stuffing it into her mouth, greedily. "Sickening…" Draco commented, watching the former Head Girl at Hogwarts behaving like a complete savage. He had other things on his mind, however. It was almost paining him to allow her to regain her strength before broaching the subject of why he had really purchased her at auction that day. At long last, she looked up, licking her fingertips in a satisfied manner.
"Well, what do you say?" Draco asked, eyeing her.
"I do not intend on thanking you, Malfoy. You are simply postponing the inevitable for me."
"I see." He stared at her. She had really grown quite revolting during her years of captivity. Ablestivner had called her an "especially feisty female." He didn't doubt it. She had always been stubborn. "Are you ready for that bath then, madam?"
She closed her eyes. "Very well."
Draco snapped his fingers again and gave Kobby, as well as a female elf, instructions. "…And be sure to do something about her hair." When, an hour later, Hermione Granger was redirected into her dungeon cell, her skin was pink and her hair was short, curling so that it was about an inch and a half long all the way around her head. Draco watched her carefully.
"Well, Malfoy, what is this all about, anyway?" she asked, as she sat down primly on her cell floor.
"There's a riddle I need you to help me solve, Granger… A very… astounding riddle indeed."
A.N.: Confused? I'll get there. Sorry if you're grossed out at all. Thank you for helping me to reach my goal with CMG. Now, review like the wind… please.